This Thursday, in the UEFA Europa League’s round of 16, Steven Gerrard’s Rangers hosted German side Bayer Leverkusen, at Ibrox Stadium. However, despite playing at home, the Scots were dominated in the first 90 minutes. Thus, the Germans won 3-1.
To stand a chance in Germany, Stevie G will need to do some of his magic from Liverpool times to make Rangers go through. It will be a hard task for the young manager, but let’s admit that Stevie knows a thing or two about comebacks.
The first chance was from Bayer Leverkusen, but only with 22 on the clock. In addition, without much work for Scottish goalkeeper Allan McGregor, as the Turkish-German midfielder, Kerem Demirbay struck a weak shot from outside the area.
In the 37th minute, the Germans were awarded a penalty thanks to the VAR. Kai Havertz went on and scored the opener for the Germans in Scotland.
The hosts could only threat on 55 minutes. However, after receiving a pass inside the area, striker Morelos stopped in the beautiful defense of Slovak goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, palming it away to corner.
Leverkusen doubled their lead on 67 minutes, through Chilean midfielder Charles Aranguiz. The Chile international capitalized on a poor clearance from the Scot defense and slotted home in the corner.
The hosts diminished in the 75th minute, with English defender George Edmundson, as he climbed up alone and headed home from a corner-kick.
Rangers got gassed up with the goal, but it was the visitors who scored and went back to Germany with a nice advantage for the second-leg. It was in the 88th min, as Leon Bailey received a pass, rounded a marker and landed a strike at the corner from McGregor. 1-3 Bayer Leverkusen.
Despite I tried to maintain an optimistic tone throughout the whole match report, I must confess that it’s highly unlikely that the second leg in Germany will happen, due to the current situation with the Covid-19. Nearly all Football leagues in Europe were canceled, and it’s no different from the UEFA competitions, as the virus affected even the Champions League.
However, it was a fantastic win from Leverkusen, as I see the German side as one of the favorites to hypothetically lift this Europa League.